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Earls ready to take flight again as Munster name side for Racing 92 battle

Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning wing is fit for Sunday’s European semi.

Earls: will make his 150th Munster appearance.
Earls: will make his 150th Munster appearance.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

MUNSTER’S DREAM OF a European Champions Cup final has been handed a huge boost with Keith Earls passed fit to start Sunday’s showdown against Racing 92 [KO 3.15pm, BT Sport].

Earls, who damaged his knee ligaments in Ireland’s Grand Slam win against England just five weeks ago, has been named to start the Bordeaux semi-final on the wing.

His return is one of two changes to the side which beat Toulon in scintillating fashion in the quarter-finals with the hero of that day, Andrew Conway, shifting over to full back as result.

Niall Scannell, who started both legs of the recent South African mini-tour, is the other change as he remains at hooker.

Simon Zebo and Rhys Marshall both have to be content with a place among Johann van Graan’s replacements as a result, while Darren Sweetnam is the unlucky man to drop out of the matchday 23.

Racing 92:

15. Louis Dupichot
14. Teddy Thomas
13. Virimi Vakatawa
12. Henry Chavancy
11. Marc Andreu
10. Pat Lambie
9. Maxime Machenaud

1. Eddy Ben Arous
2. Camille Chat
3. Cedate Gomes Sa
4. Donnacha Ryan
5. Leone Nakarawa
6. Wenceslas Lauret
7. Bernard Le Roux
8. Yannick Nyanga

Replacements:

16. Dimitri Szarzewski
17. Vasil Kakovin
18. Viliamu Afatia
19. Antonie Claassen
20. Baptiste Chouzenoux
21. Teddy Iribaren
22. Dan Carter
23. Joe Rokocoko

Munster:

15. Andrew Conway
14. Keith Earls
13. Sammy Arnold
12. Rory Scannell
11. Alex Wootton
10. Ian Keatley
9. Conor Murray

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Niall Scannell
3. Stephen Archer
4. Jean Kleyn
5. Billy Holland
6. Peter O’Mahony (captain)
7. Jack O’Donoghue
8. CJ Stander

Replacements:

16. Rhys Marshall
17. James Cronin
18. John Ryan
19. Gerbrandt Grobler
20. Robin Copeland
21. James Hart
22. JJ Hanrahan
23. Simon Zebo

Updated 13.15: An earlier version of this article incorrectly listed Niall Scannell as a prop; Scannell plays, of course, at hooker.

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Niall Kelly

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